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torah commentary
Where there is no leader, strive to be a leader
Parashat Sheleach, Numbers 13:1-15:41 In the first aliyah of this week’s parshah Shelach Lecha, God speaks to Moses telling him to “send men … everyone a leader among them” to spy upon the land. Th...
Jun 14, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
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Seeking the right kind of leader
Parashat Beha'alotcha, Numbers 8:1-12:16 The Jewish people seemed poised for entry into the Promised Land when suddenly, “the nation became a group of kvetchers, complaining evilly in the ears of t...
Jun 07, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend
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Only God blesses and we are all holy
Parashat Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 “That man has no right to bless me! He’s a no-good good-for-nothing!” Ah, the good old days. The days of duchening. The days when the Kohanim (those of priestly lin...
Jun 01, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend
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The degalim: an orchestra in harmony
Parashat Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 In the parsha, we read of the instructions to Israel on how to camp and travel. They were arranged around the central point, the mishkan, the tabernacle. Each tr...
May 24, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend
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Even the land of Israel must keep the Sabbath
Parashat Behar-Behukotai, Leviticus, 25:1-27:34 “I am the Lord your God who brought you forth from the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan to be your God” (Leviticus 25:38). Citing the ver...
May 17, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend
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When you’re here, you’re family
Parashat Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23 Since Judaism teaches that all Jews are responsible for each other, the hemorrhaging of the number of diaspora Jews actively involved in Jewish life — or even ide...
May 11, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Using our memories as a guide
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons, Temple David
Aug 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 308 308 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Ekev Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 When you look back at the current conflict in Israel, what will you remember? Will it be a focus on the missiles coming into Israel or those going out?  On Iron ...
Change of Mood
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Aug 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 319 319 recommendations | email to a friend
After the tragedy of Tisha B’Av, our mood changes. This Shabbat is called Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of Consolation. It takes its name from the words of Isaiah: “Comfort ye, comfort ye, My people...
Reason together
by Rabbi Joe Hample
Aug 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 305 305 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22 My spiritual quest began in my lonely college years. If my peers didn’t understand me, maybe God would. I got involved with Hillel, took some Hebrew, went on a ...
Meaningful midrash of Tisha B’av
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Aug 01, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 293 293 recommendations | email to a friend
The story of Kansa and Bar Kamsa (Talmud Gittin, 55) illustrates the divided nature of the Jewish people that ultimately led to the terrible destruction of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem on Tisha B’a...
Israel’s borders – from Torah or diplomacy?
by Rabbi James Gibson, Temple Sinai
Jul 24, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 202 202 recommendations | email to a friend
Mas’ei Numbers 33.1-36.15 In Mas-ei, which ends the book of Bemidar, our Torah outlines specific borders to the land promised by God to our people, a promise extending all the way back to Avraham a...
Being there in spirit
by Rabbi Jessica E. Locketz
Jul 16, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 192 192 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Matot Numbers 30:2-32:42 In this week’s Torah portion, representatives of the Tribes of Reuben and Gad approach Moses. They have prospered on the east side of the Jordan. They have many her...
Seeing the big picture need not require standing on the vista
by Rabbi Barbara AB Symons, Temple David
Jul 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 188 188 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Pinchas Numbers 25:10-30:1 In this week’s Torah portion, God commands Moses to ascend the hills from the other side of the Jordan River and look into the land of Israel. God reminds him tha...
Routine decisions can point us in the right direction
by Rabbi Donni C. Aaron
Jul 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 178 178 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Balak Numbers 22:2-25:9 In this week’s Torah reading, King Balak of Moab retains the sorcerer Balaam to curse the Jewish people. Instead of curses, only blessings come out of his mouth. Whe...
In each generation ...
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Jun 26, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 170 170 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Chukat Numbers 19:1-22:1 One of the major events related in Parshat Chukat is the death of Miriam, the older sister of Moses and Aaron. Immediately after this, we read that the Israelites w...
How can things go wrong? Let me count the ways
by Rabbi Audrey Korotkin, Temple Beth Israel, Altoona
Jun 12, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 162 162 recommendations | email to a friend
German is the most frustrating language. I’ve done Russian, French and Hebrew. I’ve learned new alphabets, switched from left to right. But nothing beats a complex German sentence to make a new stu...